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Bulawayo runs out of burial space, again

by Staff reporter
12 Dec 2017 at 05:12hrs | Views
BULAWAYO councillors have reported that the city may face burial space challenges, as the West Park Cemetery which was extended last year to ease the burden on the overstretched Luveve Cemetery, has run out of space.

West Park Cemetery was once closed in 2016 after running out of burial space, but re-opened by the local authority targeting land reserved for offices and funeral parlours.

Luveve Cemetery was the only operational burial site then.

According to the latest council minutes, the health services director reported that the cemetery would be filled up by February next year.

"There were five sections at the extended cemetery and the additional space was estimated to accommodate 7 392 graves. The extension was projected to be adequate for burials for three-and-a-half years, suggesting the cemetery would be in use until mid-2020.

"However, our projections according to the pegging that had been done the cemetery carries about 4 000 graves," the minutes read.

The minutes stated that the area in question was rocky and this had contributed to the reduction of the anticipated number of graves.

"There were two sections in the cemetery with a combined total of 1 337 which could not easily be utilised as they were located in an area with hard rock which obstruct grave production. So far only 217 graves have been produced and used in the sections because of the hard surface".

West Park Cemetery, according to the minutes, records an average of 15 burials per day. In October, it recorded the highest number of burials of 167 burials out of a total of 337, with the other six cemeteries accounting for the rest.

"It was estimated that the cemetery will take burials for approximately four more months meaning the cemetery may be decommissioned as early as February 2018," the minutes read.

Council has previously encouraged people to cremate their loved ones to save burial space, but the option has not found many takers.

Source - newsday